Gliding Stars Skating Program has given its Founder’s Award to Roy and Patty Jordan. The couple has been supporters of Elizabeth O’Donnell, founder and president of Gliding Stars, since the late 1970s.

When Gliding Stars was founded in 2004, Roy Jordan, a commercial developer, helped find office space in one of his locations. He donated a portion of the rent back to the program, building the space to its needs. When Gliding Stars was looking into the possibility of purchasing its own building in order to have all of the costumes, walkers, skates and the office headquarters in one location, Jordan was called in for help. He inspected the building on Military Road, paid the closing costs and helped in other ways.

Gliding Stars Skating aims to improve the quality of life through ice skating for people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.


Bridget Niland, Daemen College associate professor of business administration, has been named Volunteer of the Year by the YMCA Buffalo Niagara. Niland is being recognized in part for her efforts in the development of the YMCA Strong Kids Shootout event.

The Shootout, started by Daemen Sport Management students in March 2012, is now used as a template by other YMCAs throughout Western New York. YMCA Strong Kids is an annual fundraising campaign to support programs that give children opportunities to live healthier, happier lives now, but also to grow into productive adults.


Matthew J. Smith has been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Smith, an intelligence officer assigned to the University of Pittsburgh, is the son of Vincent and Michele Smith of Hamburg. He graduated from Hamburg High School in 2009.


Students in the Daemen College Accounting Lab have been awarded second place in the regional Western New York Student 2 Biz Challenge. The Daemen team took honors in the social entrepreneurship/nonprofit category.

The team, advised by Linda Kuechler, accounting and information department chairwoman, included accounting students Brian Fehr, Dung Hoang, Jeffrey Jones, Angela Vacanti and Kyle Kaptruowski.

A total of 29 teams from Western New York competed in the challenge.


Anna Zahm, who is graduating from Hamilton College, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Thailand. She is a graduate of Orchard Park High School and the daughter of Robert and Susan Zahm of Colden.

Zahm, an anthropology/archaeology major, studied in Denmark in spring 2012. Last summer, through an Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center Research Grant, she assisted in public English as a Second Language classes at a community education center that supports a large refugee community in Utica.

She is also a volunteer with Project SHINE, a program through which students tutor refugees and immigrants in English.


A team of University at Buffalo engineering students won $25,000 for designing a mobile app that aims to reduce hospital readmission rates by ensuring that patients receive appropriate care upon being discharged. The UB team included seven industrial and systems engineering doctoral candidates who are studying health systems and how people interact with computers.

“This has become a very big issue for hospitals and patients,” said Sabrina Casucci, leader of the UB team, which included Dapeng Cao, Theresa Guarrera, David LaVergne, Nicolette McGeorge, Judith Tiferes-Wang and Yuan Zhou.

The students took part in a contest, sponsored by GE Healthcare in partnership with Ochsner Health System, which asked participants to develop an app which improved patient and family experiences during hospital visits.

Seeing an opportunity to reduce the readmission rate, the UB team conceived the app, called “Discharge Roadmap,” after the competition was announced in November.

The team’s submission to the contest’s first round was selected as the first place winner out of more than 100 entries from around the world. It earned the team a $5,000 prize. The team refined the app for the next competition rounds, researching hospital readmissions and designing app features that could reduce the problem. Judges awarded the team second prize, which carried a $20,000 award.


Several area residents have graduated from Army basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

Army Pvt. William L. Haas is the son of Stacy Haas of Buffalo.

Army Reserve Pfc. Holly A. Caroll is the daughter of Thomas Caroll of Cheektowaga, and Rande Caroll of Sloan. She is a 2004 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, Cheektowaga.

Army Reserve Spec. Steven M. Ploetz is the son of Rudy Ploetz of Collins.

Army Pvt. Dylan J. Franklin is the son of Cathy and Craig Franklin of Boston. He is a 2012 graduate of Eden Senior High School.

Army National Guard Pvt. Brian R. Bushen is the son of Robert Bushen of Blasdell. He is a 2001 graduate of Frontier Central High School, Hamburg.


Joseph Jurkowski, assistant professor of business at D’Youville College, will present his abstract, “Challenges for International Financial Reporting Standards,” at the Economics, Finance, MIS, and International Business Research Conference to be held July 11- 14 in London, England.

“This paper is the result of a study of CPA firms and their approach to acceptance of the worldwide IFRS Accounting system,” Jurkowski said.

It was written with co-authors Arup Sen, vice president for academic affairs at D’Youville, and Sylwia Starnawska, an assistant professor of business at the college.

The abstract will be published in the Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, following the conference. It was previously presented at the 8th annual Business Research Consortium at Canisius College.


Army National Guard Spec. Bryan S. Plunkett has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga. He is the son of John and Joanne Plunkett of Amherst and a 2003 graduate of Amherst Central High School. He earned a master’s degree in 2009 from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich.


Dr. Anne B. Curtis, Charles and Mary Bauer professor and chairwoman of the Department of Medicine at the University at Buffalo, is first author on a paper in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that describes the results of an eight-year, national, multicenter clinical trial called Block HF.

Sponsored by Medtronic Inc., the Block HF trial, which enrolled more than 900 patients, showed that significant benefit was derived from cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). The findings showed a 26 percent relative-risk reduction in the combined endpoint of mortality, heart-failure-related urgent care and deterioration in heart function detected by echocardiography.

The New England Journal of Medicine article, published on April 25, focuses on the results of the Block HF clinical trial that first were presented by Curtis, principal investigator, last November at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2012 meeting in Los Angeles.